Texting at a stoplight feels safe. Perhaps you already knew that you got a text message, but you didn’t want to be a distracted driver, so you waited to look at your phone until the car stopped. At that moment, you feel like you’ve already made the responsible choice, and that you are not increasing your odds of an accident.
But is this assumption true? You may be surprised to find out just how distracted you really are, even when the car isn’t moving – or even when you’re no longer texting.
Does that distraction really end?
The important thing to note here is that the distraction of the cellphone doesn’t end when you close your phone or put it away. It actually lasts for 27 more seconds, on average. This is largely a cognitive distraction, as you are still thinking about whatever it was that you were doing on the phone.
But there’s also a realistic distraction in that you probably were not paying attention to other vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians while you were sitting at the stoplight. This can make it seem like someone is unexpectedly in your path when you actually would’ve had forewarning if you had been looking up.
In many cases, people will close the phone and start driving as they look back at the road. This can lead to a lot of car accidents because their vehicle is moving about a half a minute before the distraction ends, and they are not nearly as safe of a driver as they should be.
Even if you decide never to use your phone in the car, whether you’re stopped or driving, others are still going to be distracted and cause accidents. You need to know how to seek compensation for injuries suffered in these crashes.